Irrigation and drainage reform

Reform objective

To introduce effective management of Ukrainian reclamation systems.


Restoring the integrity of irrigation and drainage systems, ensuring their continuous monitoring; attracting investments in the sector due to the legally established ownership of the systems. 


We propose to develop a separate draft law “On Specifics of Management of State-Owned Objects in the Sphere of Reclamation Systems” and establish a separate state enterprise with special legal conditions. 

In 2020, BRDO experts conducted a study on the irrigation and drainage system and developed a three-level model of reforming the Ukrainian reclamation systems management. In the same year, our experts participated in the development of the Irrigation and Drainage Strategy in Ukraine until 2030 (Order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine #1567-r). In 2021, the BRDO is developing a draft law “On Water Supplies and Reclamation Infrastructure Management” and participating in the finalization of the draft law “On the Association of Water Users” as part of the working group at the State Water Resources Agency and the interagency working group on the irrigation and drainage development at the Ministry of Economy.  


A Concept for reforming the sector developed by BRDO experts provides for the division of functions of infrastructure and water resources management, optimization of executive bodies, improvement of the legal framework, and introduction of new legislative mechanisms on ownership rights.   

It is necessary to conduct an inventory of the engineering reclamation infrastructure and enter these data into the Public Cadastral Map and the State Water Cadastre that will be available online. Additionally, a list of national reclamation systems should be approved and a single base for monitoring irrigated and drained lands should be created for effective planning of entrepreneurs’ activities on lands.  

It is also required to define the public, communal, or private ownership of lands and reclamation structure and register it. The next step is to transfer the management of inter-farm reclamation systems to territorial communities And then, it is necessary to identify reclamation systems that can be transferred into the use or ownership, attract government support and investments in the reclamation system modernization and expansion.  

Finally, all these steps will allow to restore the integrity of irrigation and drainage systems, stop the reduction of irrigation areas, and simplify/improve the procedures for construction/reconstruction of new systems. 

Why is this essential for Ukraine?

Agricultural goods producers who implement modern irrigation systems can increase the yielding capacity by 30% -50% depending on the crop. Modernization of irrigation and drainage systems will allow receiving an additional 10 million tons of grain and 3 million tons of industrial crops with a total value of at least 100 billion hryvnias annually. 

The development of irrigation and drainage systems is very important for agricultural producers in the context of climate change, drought conditions, and floods. The reform is required to increase productivity and yields, increase exports, and attract foreign investment.